“Shocking! After Clicking Link, 1.4 Million Baht Gone in a Split Second.” Such headlines have become all too common in Thailand, as more Thais adopt an increasingly digital lifestyle.
Over the past decade, dtac has seen a soaring increase in data usage. More recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, users’ data usage spiked significantly as they began working from home, ordering deliveries from online marketplaces, purchasing digital financial products, making e-payments and accessing a variety of other paid digital services. Such an expanded digital lifestyle has meant greater exposure to cyberattack risks. Statistics show that in 2021 alone, Thai users were exposed to more than 20 million cyberthreats.
To combat this rise in cybercrime, dtac has developed and launched dtac Safe, a cutting-edge new service that boosts the cybersecurity of customers across a variety of online transactions.
Pitsuda Manvichachai, dtac’s Head of Digital Products (Protection), and Rusamon Tongmee, dtac Safe product owner, explain that dtac Safe is part of dtac’s Beyond Connectivity strategy, which aims to deliver a fulfilling digital lifestyle to consumers. dtac Safe supports this larger mission by protecting users’ mobile phones as they conduct their business online.
“dtac Safe can protect you from online threats more effectively than you think, as it practically thwarts access to suspicious websites,” Ms. Pitsuda explains. “Because we have provided our email addresses to many websites, there is a risk that our sensitive information such as passwords, date of birth, and occupation may leak out. Such leaks cause the financial damage that has made the headlines in recent years,” she adds.
Essence of Product Development: User Experience
Mention cybersecurity, and many people might imagine conventional anti-virus programs that must be downloaded and activated for device scanning. dtac Safe works differently.
With an eye towards user experience, dtac Safe is focused on mobile phone users, who account for the majority of digital transactions. dtac spent over a year identifying the right partner to develop this product. dtac finally chose Cyan Digital Security, a world-class cybersecurity developer based in Austria, to create the state-of-the-art and easy-to-use dtac Safe. To use it, dtac customers can simply open the dtac app and then activate dtac Safe.
It gets better: As a cloud-based solution, dtac Safe stays active regardless of how users are connected to the internet – via Wi-Fi, cellular data, or data roaming services. Using the dtac app, customers can connect to the internet through a VPN, a key feature of cyber protection, and can activate and deactivate the VPN as needed, also via the app.
Through these features, dtac Safe is far easier and more convenient to use when compared with conventional cybersecurity programs.
Throughout the development process, the team was fully committed to launching a pioneering product that addresses the trends and needs of modern digital life. “You will find many people who play online games and buy e-insurance, but dtac Safe is a relatively new product category for Thailand’s telecom market,” Ms. Pitsuda says.
To ensure they were on the right track, the team conducted thorough research and interviewed specialists in other markets. They spoke to experts at Norway’s Telenor and Malaysia’s Digi, among others, to gather deeper insights into the existing landscape of cybersecurity products, before applying these learnings to the Thai market.
An important setback occurred after product development had already been ongoing for a while. Ms. Pitsuda recalls, “We noticed that dtac Safe had a weakness: It could not be used in international roaming mode.”
As the product sits under the Beyond Connectivity strategy, whose aim is to facilitate a fulfilling digital lifestyle, Ms. Pitsuda knew this limitation would not be acceptable to an increasingly jet-setting Thai population. She continues, “We decided to start over from scratch. After all, our goal is to provide customers with easy-to-use and value-for-money products.”
Early Success and Continuous Learning
The development and deployment of dtac Safe has involved the cooperation of various stakeholders: dtac’s Technology Team, the dtac App Team, and of course the Cyan development team. Their specialist know-how, combined with insights from dtac, has made dtac Safe a fresh and impactful product. Already, the number of users exceeds initial targets, with 60,000-70,000 new users per month.
Nevertheless, dtac Safe is still in its infancy, and the product team knows there is lots more to learn. Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving area, and efforts to understand and respond to emerging threats must always be ongoing.
“dtac Safe will need to continually evolve to address the ever-changing cyberthreat landscape,” Ms. Pitsuda says. “We are going to develop it further, roll out more services that respond to more customer needs and keep pace with changes to the cyber-landscape in a more comprehensive manner.”
Get a 1-month free trial when you subscribe for dtac Safe via the dtac app or https://www.dtac.co.th/dtac-safe.